Welcome Back to Ketchum Hall and the English Department! We hope your winter break afforded you some much deserved time for rest, rejuvenation, and time with your loved ones. As you return to campus this spring, here are a couple of things to keep in mind to ensure a successful semester.
Please make sure that you are registered for your Spring classes. For returning students, you should have completed your registration in the Fall. If you have not registered, please do so as soon as possible (registration ends Feb. 6) . In looking through your schedule, please keep the following in mind:
We want you to have a successful semester back on campus and excel in your courses. Some early organization will go a long way in helping you do this. Here are some tips for creating some good organization systems to help you succeed.
When the semester begins, make sure to print out a copy of your full syllabus, including all of the policies, grading scales, etc. If your professor is using Blackboard, take time the first week of class to go through the entire course and course materials. Here are some good practices to get into:
We are happy to respond to your questions and concerns. If you are having trouble in a course, if you are confused and need clarification, or if you just have a question, we encourage you to reach out to us! All of your faculty keep weekly office hours for students, and all of us check our email regularly during the academic year; we are here to help you. Below is some general tips and advice:
If you have a quick question about something (an assignment, due date, or policy) the easiest way to address is usually to just send your faculty an email. Before you contact your faculty member, however, you should:
If you have gone through all the documentation provided for your course, and still cannot find an answer to your question, by all means, contact your faculty member for help!
When contacting your faculty member, keep the following in mind:
If you need help with something that is more extensive that a quick question, then it is probably better to attend your faculty’s Office Hours or set up an appointment.
Q: I'm having trouble in one of my classes and need help outside of class. What should I do?
A: There are many options, depending on what kind of help you need. There are free tutoring services, including the services of the Writing Center, to help you with academic skills, such as writing and revising. If you have a question about a specific assignment, though, you should ask your professor for clarification.
Q: I have had problems getting books for my classes. What should I do?
A: While professors might be willing to work with you the first few weeks of the semester while you obtain books and course material, at some point you will simply need your books to do the work of the semester. You can reach out to your professors, but their policies on late work/makeup work are at their discretion.
Q: I feel overwhelmed with keeping my courses organized. What should I do?
A: The Academic Success Office has many resources available to help students be successful in their courses.
There are also many ways to keep organized. Some students use a separate notebook and binder for each class. Other students use a big binder or file with dividers to keep all of their course work in one place. Planners can also help you stay organized and on top of things. The important thing is to find a method that works for you and stick with it. The Remote Learning site from Academic Success has some great tips!
Q: I am having issues with tech and need help. Where can I go?
A: You can check out the Technology Support page from Academic Success. If you are having problems understanding how to use a feature or aspect of Blackboard, you should check out the Blackboard Learn help link inside Blackboard.
Q: I have questions or concerns about my course and my professor is not responding. What do I do?
A: If you have tried contacting your professor (paying attention to the info about communicating with faculty above) and have not heard back, and if you had no response from follow-up questions, and have tried to attend office hours (virtually, by phone call, etc), to no avail, you can contact the department for help in resolving your issue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you.
Q: I feel I am being unfairly treated in my course. What are my options?
A: If you are having issues in a course that have not been resolved by speaking to your instructor, you have other options available to you. If the course is an English course, you may contact the department (email@example.com) to set up a meeting with the chair to discuss your concerns. If the course is offered by another department, you can contact the main office of that department and express your concern, and ask to be put in contact with the department chair. If you feel you have received an unfair final grade in a course, you can file an Academic Appeal (petitions and appeals are handled by the Academic Standards office).
Q: I am worried about the cost of attending college. Are there scholarships available to me.
A: The Campus Application Portal for Scholarships (CAPS) is the main area for campus wide scholarships. There are numerous opportunities here for students, so please register and look through the system to see if there are opportunities you qualify for.
Q: I'm struggling with some mental health issues. Does the college provide mental health services?
A: The college provides mental health services through our Counseling Center. The Center provides services through appointments as well as telehealth services, and you can find support for a variety of mental health concerns. You can contact them at 716-878-4436.
Q: I have general concerns about my health. Who should I contact?
A: Weigel Health Services is our campus health services provider. More information on the specific services offered by Weigel can be found on their website.
Q: I'm enjoying my courses and major but am not sure what I want to do with my degree. What are my options?
A: A degree in English, Writing, or English Education offers a variety of career paths. As you go through your degree program, we encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Career Development Center, which has services ranging from finding part-time jobs, to workshops on resume-writing, cover-letter writing and interview skills. We encourage students to explore the Career Development Center's services as they begin to think about professionalizing and exploring job opportunities, including internships. The Center's services are active and virtual due to Covid.
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